Celebrated on field, yet ignored by government – the story of India’s blind cricketers
Prakasha Jayaramaiah, vice-captain of the Indian blind cricket team, hold a record for smashing a century in just 27 balls. He has represented the country in five world cups, including the T-20 World Cup, which India won. He has been a consistent performer with the bat since his debut for India in 2010.
There are few cricketers from the the Board Of Control For Cricket In India-supported Indian cricket team who can match the achievements of this partially blind cricketer from Karnataka. Yet the state government cares little for his struggle for survival off the field.
Jayaramaiah, who comes from a poor family, has been waiting for a government job for the past eight years. But except for promises and congratulations, he has received nothing. He says that since 2010, he has been running around but no one has responded.
While the Kerala government has provided jobs to cricketers from their state, the Karnataka government has remained indifferent.
Like Sunil from Karnataka, who is the son of daily wage labourer, has been waiting for a job as well. He says he needs to help his family financially but all he has got is assurances. At the recently held World Cup, which India won, Sunil was the man of the match in the finals against arch-rivals Pakistan for his 93 runs off 67 deliveries.
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Basappa Vadgol from Karnataka, whose sight is completely absent, was also a part of the World Cup winning team. He has managed a job at a gram panchayat office in Belagavi district but he achieved this by appearing as a normal candidate in the exam.
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